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- You're getting started tracing your ancestors in California
- You want new ideas and resources to get past a California brick wall
- Your genealogy search is focused mainly on California —you don't need the full State Research Guides collection
- a how-to article detailing California's history and records, with helpful advice on tracking your family there
- the best websites, books and other resources for California research, handpicked by our editors and experts
- listings of key libraries, archives and organizations that hold the records you need
- timeline of key events in the state's history
- In 1846, American settlers proclaimed independence from Mexico and established the California Republic. While Mexico was ceding California to the United States in 1848, gold was discovered, sparking the biggest migration in American history.
- If your family arrived in California before 1860, check the Pioneer and Immigrant File at Ancestry.com.
- Can't find your relatives' marriages or divorces? Many Californians jumped the border for these events, so look in bordering states, especially Nevada.